Friday, April 13, 2012

Jason and Jordan get their game on to get the game... The start of the tale on getting the original POP (Prince of Persia) Apple II source off of 20 year old floppies

Jordan Mechner - Raiders of the Lost Archives

"Two weeks ago, my Dad shipped me a box that, to my joy, contained the original Apple II Prince of Persia source code archive I’d stowed away 20 years ago and had given up for lost.

Despite my eagerness to see what’s on those disks, I’ve yet to pop them in a drive. As readers of this site have cautioned me, digital media degrade with age; if the disks are in a fragile state, normal handling could damage them further and even render them unreadable.

In today’s guest post, digital archivist Jason Scott explains why reading 20-year-old floppy disks is trickier than it sounds — and why he’s volunteered to fly from NY to LA on Monday with special equipment to tackle the job himself.

Monday will be an exciting day. Much like opening a long-sealed sarcophagus, I truly have no idea whether we’ll find what we’re hoping for, or just data dust. For anyone who wants to share the suspense, we’ll be live-tweeting our progress. [GD: emphasis added] (Hashtag: #sourcecode. Apologies to any Jake Gyllenhaal fans who may find all this a bit confusing.)

Meanwhile, here’s Jason’s story, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of a profession whose existence I couldn’t have foreseen or imagined when I was making Prince of Persia in the 1980s: Digital archeologist.


This is an interesting tale, one that promises to be something to watch in the coming week [Geeks only need apply]...

One thing to consider, image our world in another 20 years and the digital media we'll have "around." Think about how much fun it's going to be to access it. Sounds like that business nitch of today has a bright future (looking into the past).


Related Past Post XRef:
Original POP (Prince of Persia) Apple II Source Found

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